FTC Disclosure for Bloggers – Beginners Guide
Read all way along to understand the federal trade commissions disclosure regulations and guidelines.
For reference on how to write an FTC disclosure page for your blog, Go to FTC Disclosure page of BforBloggers.
It’s been a while since you are promoting various affiliate products on your blog.
Your website has an affiliate link in the footer, a banner in the sidebar and you are promoting the products to email subscribers too.
Your revenue is increasing, and your commissions are high, you’re enjoying this.
One day, an email arrives in your inbox.
It is from the US government bureaucrats.
They give you a warning that you have been violating the FTC guidelines and should stop this all at once!
You are confused, you don’t know what to do!
Don’t let this happen to you, let me show you what this FTC means and why it matters.
FTC stands for federal trade commissions. Based in the USA, this department handles the fair trade part.
Users can file a complaint through the FTC website if they feel cheated.
As an affiliate marketer blogger, you should be disclosing the relationship between you and the merchant, product, or service you are promoting.
For instance, I am writing a youtube marketing blog post.
I am an affiliate of an excellent youtube marketing tool called TubeBuddy, and I want my readers to sign up for it because it’s free!
I haven’t written any FTC disclosure page on my blog, nor I mention it in the post, So, my readers are unaware that when they decide to signup for it, I may receive a commission at no cost to them.
For understanding this system, you need to understand what Affiliate Marketing means.
Now, the person who will be signing up for tube buddy should have prior knowledge of the relationship between me and the company itself.
Amazon associates are legally required to disclose that the website they are putting amazon affiliate links to is an Amazon Associate. You need to clarify you’ll be earning a commission when visitors purchase using your Amazon affiliate links.
You have to make sure your disclosure is clearly visible and concise.
For example, you can say:
As an Amazon asscociate, if you click on the links in the article and make a purchase, we’ll earn a commission. It will cost nothing extra to you, but will support our business.
Or you can mark the Amazon affiliate links as * and indicate in the footnote these links are affiliate links.
If you’d like to automate the FTC disclosure on your blog, install the ThirstyAffiliates WordPress plugin. It is an affiliate link cloaking plugin, that allows you to automatically put disclosure at the end and the beginning of your blog posts.
However, Amazon doesn’t allow link cloaking, so you can use AAWP as an alternative.
That’s what FTC disclosure regulation is all about in brief.
Writing and publishing the affiliate disclosure page simply means disclosing the relationship between you and the merchant you are promoting.
However, this is only mandatory if you meet the following requirements:-
- Trading directly in the USA
- Trading indirectly in the USA
- Trading from overseas in the USA
- Trading With US-based customers
And there are more requirements. Make sure you read the full FTC official Documentation here.
This just a reference post for basic understanding and you should know this isn’t a legal document. Do nothing without reading the official guidelines mentioned above.